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Tuesday 7 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
# vaccine scam
Warning over Covid vaccine scam that targets elderly people living alone
There have been multiple reports of people saying they’ve been contacted by con artists purporting to be from the HSE.

GARDAÍ HAVE BECOME aware of a Covid vaccine scam which is targeting elderly people. 

There have been multiple reports from members of the public who say they or their parents have been contacted by people purporting to be from the HSE who tell them they have an appointment to receive a vaccine. 

In one case the hospital mentioned by the scam caller was not the intended victim’s closest hospital which raised suspicions. The woman is based in the North East but was told she would receive the vaccine in a Dublin hospital. 

The woman was told somebody could come out and administer the vaccine instead. She was then asked her age and whether she lives alone. 

The woman contacted her daughter who then spoke with her local doctor. The doctor confirmed that the scam was a problem in the area.

There are several Covid scams operating across Ireland right now, gardaí believe. In relation to this one, officers suspect that a cash payment would have been demanded from the woman had she given out her details. 

Other scam calls have claimed that payment is required to ensure the person being offered the vaccination arrives at the hospital. They are told this will be refunded after the person receives the vaccination.

A similar scam has been operating in the North. 

Members of the public there have been sent text messages telling them that they are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccination. 

The scam message reads “we have identified that you are eligible to apply for your vaccine” and links to a convincing, but fake, NHS page which then asks for bank details.

Gardaí have urged the public to be aware of the con artists operating and to call them if they believe they have been the victim of a crime. 

In relation to all scams and potentially fraudulent behaviour, a garda spokesman warned:
“Gardaí are advising people to be vigilant and suspicious of any calls, voicemails, emails etc. from people claiming to represent a company or organisation you may be a customer of or work for.
“The person contacting you may have some information about you, so don’t trust them just because they use your name or other personal information.
Always say no to unsolicited calls or emails seeking private information about you. Private information includes your name, address, date of birth, family details, bank account numbers, PIN, passwords.
Meanwhile, gardaí said they have become aware of a scam that is operating where emails and texts are being circulated under the branding of various courier companies.
In these emails and texts, it is requested that the recipient pay an additional cost for customs clearance prior to delivery of their parcel.
In some instances, these emails and texts have been circulated in Irish. 
The advice from gardaí is that recipients should not to provide payment details, and should take a screenshot of the text/email and delete it. Anyone who believes they have been the victim of fraud is asked to report the matter to their local Garda station. 
Gardaí said these scams take advantage of the confusion around Brexit and use the uncertainty to defraud people.


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